Greek Cypriots fear a two-state deal would entrench Turkish control potentially over the entire island as well as hydrocarbon deposits off its shores.
Egypt’s foreign minister on Tuesday rebuffed a Turkish push for a two-state peace deal on ethnically divided Cyprus, saying that any talks should adhere to a U.N.-backed road map reunifying the east Mediterranean island nation as a federation, AP reports.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said after talks with his Cypriot counterpart that regional challenges need to be countered based on international law instead of “aggressive activities or expansionist tendencies.”
Shoukry’s remarks indirectly targeted Turkey, which Cyprus accuses of supporting a peace deal that would serve its policy goal of exerting its control over the east Mediterranean.
Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said that he conveyed to Shoukry his government’s “deep concern regarding Turkey’s increasingly revisionist and destabilizing foreign policy” in the region.
Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup aiming at union with Greece. Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence in the island’s north where it keeps more than 35,000 troops.
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